The International Testing Agency and World Taekwondo signed a partnership agreement today ©ITG

World Taekwondo will hand over its anti-doping programme to the International Testing Agency (ITA) from the beginning of next year after the two organisations signed a partnership agreement here today.

The deal, which will see the ITA take control of areas of World Taekwondo's current drug-testing operation such as risk assessment, the registered testing pool and in and out-of-competition samples, is due to begin on January 1.

Ensuring taekwondo's worldwide governing body maintains compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency is another key aim.

The agreement is set to run through to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, with ITA director general Benjamin Cohen claiming there is scope for the partnership to continue beyond the event in the Japanese capital.

World Taekwondo has become the latest International Federation to sign up to the ITA, which began operations earlier this year.

Others to have joined the supposedly umbrella-body include the International Judo Federation and the International Boxing Association.

World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue welcomed the deal with the ITA and claimed the sport was among the cleanest on the Olympic programme.

The agreement was signed during the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games ©ITA
The agreement was signed during the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games ©ITA

"We are always looking at ways of improving our anti-doping programmes to ensure we are delivering competitions that our athletes, fans and all stakeholders can have complete trust in," said Choue.

Cohen revealed intelligence-led testing would also be part of the agreement but World Taekwondo would continue to be responsible for education.

"We need the sport’s expertise as well, such as when the athletes are more likely to dope," he said.

"It is very much an exchange and we need to get information from their sports department and if they hear anything there needs to be a bridge.

"Anti-doping education will continue to be done by World Taekwondo and we will be happy to support that. 

"I think we will look at it and try and be more ambitious as time goes and delegate more activities.

"It is the start of a long-term partnership which will hopefully go beyond Tokyo 2020."